March 26, 2007
MESA, Ariz. - MIT split the first two games of the 2007 regular season, recovering from an 8-2 loss against Oberlin College in the opener en route to an 8-6 win in the nightcap. The Engineers' attack stayed relatively silent through both games with only one player getting at least two hits in either game.
Sophomore Chris D'Annunzio got the nod to start the MIT baseball season for which there has been plenty of excitement. With all the makings of becoming one of the league's top pitchers this season, D'Annunzio had trouble with his command in his first test of the season. The Engineers endured three wild pitches, four passed balls and a balk in the season opener, while the Yeomen jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the third.
Ahead 3-2 in the fifth, P.J. Carter capped a four-run inning with a three-run triple to move the Yeomen in front, 7-2. Oberlin picked up its final run of the game in the sixth after taking advantage of two consecutive passed balls.
D'Annunzio pitched 4.2 innings while yielding three earned runs. His counterpart, Jaremy Rich, went the distance for Oberlin, holding MIT to four hits.
After a tough first game, the offense awoke from its slumber in game two with two runs in the top of the first. Sophomore Thomas Phillips, who produced a run with a single in the opening frame, added to MIT's totals with a two-run double in the third. Oberlin answered with three tallies in the bottom half of the third and added another in the fourth to level the score.
MIT's freshmen helped the Engineers reclaim the lead in the fifth as Ben Bersanti led off the stanza with a double and Stewart Park followed with an RBI single. Junior Kevin Wheeler brought home another run with a sacrifice fly to give MIT a cushion it wouldn't relinquish until the bottom of the seventh.
After forcing extra innings with a pair of runs in the last scheduled frame, MIT (1-1) once again answered the Oberlin (3-8) attack with two runs of its own in the eighth. Stephen Toth provided the big blow with a run-producing triple, while Jason Witzberger also picked up an RBI. Stephen Nunez, who entered the game to pitch in the seventh, closed the door on another comeback bid with a 1-2-3 finish in the bottom of the inning.
The Engineers pitched by committee in the second game with six different pitchers working from the mound after sophomore Kevin Foley tossed a scoreless first. Phillips paced MIT at the plate, reaching base four times on the afternoon (including three times in game two) while driving home three runs in the winning effort.